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Recipe: by CHLOE candy cane beets pilaf

How one of our favorite vegan restaurants puts to use one of fall's finest roots.

In the old days, we used to toss beet greens. Now we know better. One cup contains half your daily vitamin A and two times your vitamin K needs. But they, along with the root vegetable they're attached to, have the reputation for being bitter and difficult to cook. So we went to those vegetable whisperers at by CHLOE in New York City for a recipe that is easy and delicious. Make Chef Jenné Claiborne's side dish into a meal with a poached egg on top.

Ingredients

4 small fresh baby candy cane beets
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch of beet greens (about 3-4 cups), stems removed
¾ cup toasted almonds
1 clove garlic
Juice of one lime
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp red chili flakes
3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch chives, chopped

Directions

1.

In a large pot using a basket steamer, steam beets until fork tender, 20 to 30 minutes; transfer to a colander, run under cold water and gently peel skins off. Quarter beets and set aside.

2.

In a medium pot, toast 1 cup quinoa, shaking to toast evenly, until grain starts to pop, 30 seconds. Add 1½ cups water, bring to a gentle boil and cook, 10 minutes; remove from heat, cover and let sit until fully cooked, 5 to 10 minutes.

3.

In a food processor, process beet greens, almonds, garlic, juice, salt, pepper and flakes until fully combined; slowly pour in olive oil and blend until combined and grainy. 

4.

In a serving bowl, toss together beets, quinoa and pesto, and garnish with chives.